|Tobacco mop up sales start next week|
|Thursday, 16 August 2012 00:07|
THE Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board yesterday announced that tobacco mop-up sales for the 2012 season will start next Wednesday. TIMB chief executive, Dr Andrew Matibiri, said all floors would be open for the sales that run until all the tobacco delivered this year is sold.
“We are appealing to all growers to complete grading of all tobacco that they may still have and deliver it within when the sales start next week.
“Growers should be warned that it is an offence to retain tobacco after the end of the auction period without the TIMB’s authority,” he said.
Dr Matibiri said the mop up sales were held every year to make sure all the tobacco produced during the season was accounted for.
To date a total of 142 million kilogrammes of the golden leaf have been delivered.
The country had projected a total of 150 million kilogrammes for the season but the figure has remained difficult to achieve in the wake of droughts, which affected the bulk of the crop in the northern areas of the country.
Dr Matibiri urged all growers to destroy stalks of the crop saying May 15 was the deadline for every year.
“Those who still have stalks in their fields must destroy them as some farmers have already established seedbeds for the next season. This may heighten the risk of disease carry-overs from last season.
“If a farmer is found with stalks in his field after the May deadline, he may be fined US$100 per hectare under the Plant Disease and Pest Act that is enforced by the Plant Quarantine Services department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development,” said Dr Matibiri.
He also revealed that 40 000 out of the 72 000 growers that were already in their records have so far registered for the next tobacco growing season.
The deadline for registration is 31 October every year and farmers pay US$10 to be registered.
TIMB has decentralised its services and established mobile registration services as well as offices in all of the country’s tobacco growing districts.
The move was done to assist farmers who had been perennially failing to travel to Harare to register and were ending up coming for sales without being registered, subjecting themselves to unnecessary delays.